Back in May, we covered a number of DIY outdoor toys. However, only one water toy – a homemade slip ‘n slide — made the list.
So, if you associate outdoor play with water toys that can help your little ones cool off, you may be looking for more cheap and simple water toy options.
Well, you’re in luck. Here’s a look at seven items you may already have around the house – or that aren’t expensive to buy – that can easily double as props for summer water fun.
1. A baby or toddler bathtub. If your children are still small enough to fit into small portable infant and toddler tubs (like this one or this one) and you still have such tubs around the house, you can take the tubs outside, fill them water and transform them into instant small pools.
But what if your children wouldn’t be able to squeeze anymore into such tubs? If you still have them collecting dust in storage, summertime is the perfect time to repurpose a tiny bathtub into a DIY water table. Simply place the bathtub on top of a small table or chair, fill it up with about an inch of water, cups, pails and shovels, and let your little ones engage in some pouring, emptying and splashing fun.
2. A plastic bin. If you don’t have a tiny bathtub around the house, a plastic bin can work just as well. Fill a large and deep plastic bin with water and it can double as a small backyard pool for the baby and toddler set. Meanwhile, a more shallow plastic bin can work great as a DIY water table: Simply place the bin on a sturdy surface, fill it up with about an inch of water, throw in some pouring toys (bubble bath optional), and then watch your children splash away (and note that plastic bins also work great for inside play).
3. A large bowl. If you don’t have, or need, a little bathtub or plastic bin, a large kitchen bowl can also double as the setting of a DIY water table. Just place the bowl on a firm surface, fill it with water toys, and then watch your kids enjoy the water fun.
4. A sprinkler. Simple sprinklers make perfect water toys – depending on the sprinkler model, kids can run through the oscillating water waves or jump over the rotating sprays. So, if you have a simple sprinkle around the house that you use to water your garden and grass (like this one), consider hooking it up to a hose and letting your kids enjoy the water spray.
But what if you don’t have a sprinkler already? Well, there are lots of inexpensive $10 and under simple sprinkler models available (like this one) that may be worth just buying for their use as yard toys. Or you could consider making your own sprinkler out of a water or soda bottle, duct tape and a hose by following these instructions.
5. A hose. If you have a hose around the house, why not let your children play with it. There’s no better easy water toy than a hose’s constant water stream.
6. Sponges. Sponges aren’t just for cleaning. If you have a couple of unused sponges around the house, easily transform them into water toys. Simply fill up a bucket with water, toss the sponges in the water and then let your little ones go wild squeezing and playing with their new homemade water toys.
7. Water balloons. Assuming your kids are old enough to play with balloons (i.e. the balloons no longer pose a choking hazard), consider buying some cheap balloons and helping your little ones fill them up with water. The water balloons can then be used for some good old-fashioned water balloon fighting fun or for a game of water balloon splash toss.
For more on cheap water toys, check out these three ways to make DIY water tables. What cheap and easy water toys did I miss? What would you add to this list?